As an experienced helicopter pilot, you’re in a position to rapidly begin a new career as a commercial airline pilot. Your unique combination of experience, discipline, and commitment makes you an extremely valuable pilot.
In AeroGuard’s Rotor to Fixed Wing Program in partnership with SkyWest Airlines, you’ll be able to complete all your training needed to transition into a career as a commercial airline pilot in as little as 4 months.
Generally speaking, qualified helicopter pilots ready to begin the program already have a Commercial Certificate with Instrument Rating in rotorcraft helicopter and already meet total ATP minimum hour requirements. For those requirements, civilian helicopter pilots need a total of 1,500 hours flight time while those that completed their training in the military require 750 total hours. Because of this, the rotor transition curriculum is designed to provide the airplane specific requirements needed to receive the ATP certificate which are:
Commercial pilot certificate in airplane multi-engine land with instrument rating
50 hours in airplane multi-engine land aircraft of which up to 25 hours can be completed during initial training at the airlines
250 total hours of airplane PIC time
AeroGuard understands that it’s not always a one size fits all model. If a pilot does not meet all of the requirements listed above, or already has some fixed wing experience, AeroGuard can examine a pilot’s logbook and determine what they’ll need to be able to reach the ATP minimums. From there, the pilot will be able to enroll in a customized program that will allow them to move forward as a First Officer with the regional airlines.
AeroGuard’s Rotor Transition Program (RTP) starts with converting your current licenses from rotorcraft to fixed wing. Within this program you would gain your fixed wing Private Pilot License, followed by Instrument Rating, in our standardized fleet of Piper Archers before then moving into the Commercial Multi-Engine certificate in the Piper Seminole.
This stage of training is estimated to take a total of 3 months to complete from beginning to end, after which you will meet 2 of the 3 of the commercial airline requirements, with your CPLME Certificate with Instrument Rating, as well as over 25 hours of multi engine aircraft time.
The Path to 250 Hours Airplane PIC
The final requirement for helicopter pilots to make the move to the commercial airlines is to have a total of 250 Hours of fixed wing PIC time. This requirement is an FAA minimum, however, and as students are evaluating their options, they would consider the best way to stand out in the hiring process at their future airline. There are several ways AeroGuard students can get this time;
Build Time with another AeroGuard Graduated student with an aligning schedule
Gain CFI Qualifications to build time training others
AeroGuard is partnered with SkyWest Airlines, to provide a complete pathway from training to the commercial airlines. SkyWest Airlines is the largest regional airline in the nation with 18 domiciles across the country, a great company culture and offers incredible career opportunities to their pilots.
During SkyWest hiring periods, students are able to interview for a conditional job offer with SkyWest as a First Officer prior to starting training with AeroGuard. AeroGuard can then complete a pilot’s RTP training targeted around this SkyWest start date, offering up to $25,000 Tuition Reimbursement from SkyWest for Military-Trained RTP Students upon the completion of I.O.E.